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Cyprus – Citizenship Options

Cyprus at a glance:

Country

Official Name:  Republic of Cyprus
Capital: Nicosia (Lefkosia)
European Union:  Member since 1st May 2004
National Holiday:  1st October – Independence Day
Time:  +2 hours GMT (three hours ahead in Summer)
Measures:  Metric system

Geography

Location:  Cyprus is located in the extreme northeast corner of the Mediterranean, at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa. The island lies 71 km south of Turkey, 105 km west of Syria, and some 800 km east of Greece.
Structure:  The third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily and Sardinia), Cyprus measures 240 km latitudinally and 100 km longitudinally. The island has a central plain with mountains to the north and south and scattered plains along the southern coast. Cyprus has 648 km of coastline.
Area:   9,251 sq km (3,355 sq km are in the occupied area).
Climate:  Mediterranean climate, with long, warm, dry summers from May to October and mild winters with occasional rain, lasting from December to February.
Average summer temperature: 34°C
Average winter temparature: 13°C
All year round mean temperature: 23°C

People

Population:  848,300 (Republic of Cyprus, December 2015)

Population by District:
Capital: Nicosia (Lefkosia) 330,000
Limassol (Lemesos) 237,000
Larnaca (Larnaka) 144,200
Paphos (Pafos) 90,200
Famagusta (Ammochostos) 46,900

Nationality:  Cypriot

Descendants:  Greek Cypriots trace their origins to the descendants of the Achaean Greeks and later the Mycenaean Greeks. Turkish Cypriots are descendants of the Ottoman settlers.
Religions:  Greek Orthodox 78%, Muslim 18%, other (includes Maronite and Armenian Apostolic) 4%
Ethnic Composition: Greek Cypriot Community 71,8%, Turkish Cypriot Community 9,5%, Foreign Residents 18,7% (data refers to the whole island, end of 2011).
Languages:  Greek (official), Turkish (official), English is also widely spoken
Literacy:  97.6%
Median Age:  34.8 years
Life Expectancy:  80.9 years
Population Growth:  0.2%
International membership: European Union, United Nations, Council of Europe, Commonwealth, World Bank and International Monetary Fund

Government

Form of State: Presidential Republic
Head of State: Nicos Anastasiades
Suffrage:  Universal, 18 years
National Legislature: Based on adult suffrage. Government elected every five years
Elections: Last held February 2013. Held every five years
Legal System: The Cypriot legal system is based on English common law, with civil modifications
Juridical Branch: The Supreme Court of the Republic, The Assize Courts and District Courts

Economic Overview

Total GDP at Market Prices (euro): 17.9 billion (2016 estimate)

GDP per Capita (euro): €21,152

GDP Growth:

2.8% (2016)

2.5-3% (2017 estimate)

GDP by Sector:

Services 81.7%

Industry 15.9%

Agriculture 2.4%

Inflation: -1.2% (2016)

Economic Sectors: Tourism, financial services, real estate, shipping, industry

Currency: euro

Main Trading Partners: UK, Greece, Germany, Italy, Israel, France, China

Trade: euro

Fiscal Year: Calendar year

Corporate Tax Rate: 12.5%

Time to start up a business: 1-3 days

Accounting Standard: IFRS

Sovereign Ratings: (March 2017)

BB+ Standard & Poor’s

BB- Fitch

B1 Moody’s

CITIZENSHIP

The Council of Ministers approved on 13/9/2016 the new criteria of obtaining Cypriot Citizenship by Investment, based on article 111A, subsection 2 of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002-2015 making the scheme more attractive to foreign investors who wish to benefit from all the advantages of a Cypriot citizenship and especially the free movement within EU.

The new criteria are:

  • Investment in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects of at least 2 million euro. The said requirement also includes plots of developable land as long as the application contains an investment plan to develop it.
  • Purchase of incorporation of Cyprus companies or Cypriot organizations that have activities in Cyprus of at least 2 million euro. The organisations or companies must have a physical presence in Cyprus, with substantial activity and operations and must employ at least 5 Cypriot citizens or EU citizens,
  • Investment of at least 2 million euro, in Investment Funds or financial assets of Cypriot companies or organizations which are licensed by CySEC and which operate only in Cyprus in investments which are compatible with the new criteria or are approved by the Finance Minister. The purchase of financial assets of at least 2 million euro of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations which have real physical presence in Cyprus with real activity and which engage in the financing of investments in Cyprus.

Combination of the aforementioned criteria; the applicant is required to have a combination of the above amounting to act at least 2 million euro. Under this criterion, the applicant can purchase government bonds of 500.000 euro which are issued by the government of Cyprus as long as he/she keeps the bonds for a period of 3 years.

 

 

Posted in Country Spotlights.

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